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The World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef and natural wonders of the Whitsunday Islands are yours for the taking when you stay and experience Airlie Beach.
This popular resort town on Queensland’s Whitsunday Coast is the gateway to the 74 island wonders of the Whitsunday Islands, offering infinite sightseeing and exploration pleasures to treasure.
Sea cruises for a wide range of eco, leisure and diving tours depart regularly from the Port of Airlie, Abell Point Marina and Shute Harbour. The Airlie Beach Lagoon is a man-made swimming area with a family-friendly beach and park. The town is also known for its exciting nightlife, from backpacker bars to upmarket clubs.
The unique tropical setting and family-friendly atmosphere is where Airlie Beach truly shines. Given its wealth of natural abundance, including national parks and gardens, historical and heritage sites, swimming pools, water parks, fishing, snorkelling and
whale-watching opportunities, it’s little wonder that Airlie Beach attracts more than 600,000 visitors annually. This is no mean feat considering its population of a minuscule 1208 permanent residents.
What is there to do at Airlie Beach?
Marvelling at the spectacular Whitsundays-based scenery is the natural starting point. Visitors cannot help but be mesmerised by the white sands and crystal clear waters surrounding this apex to all activities on offer at the world-famous Whitsunday Islands.
You can soak up the surrounds of this tropical paradise just by taking a stroll. Browse the boutiques, sip a coffee while you people watch, and visit the Saturday morning Airlie Beach Markets, which sells local handmade arts crafts, fresh produce and so much more.
When the day is done, enjoy the island twilight with a cocktail and dining choices from a multitude of al fresco restaurants, including fresh local seafood, artisan-made tapas selections or indulge in a romantic sunset dinner cruise for two.
On the touring front, there are land, water, air, bare-boating and a range of eco tours.
Adrenaline offers a short, sharp burst of the best of the Whitsunday Islands, in full panoramic scope, with the Getaway-featured 20-minute Helicopter 20-minute Flying Lesson, Learn To Fly Whitsundays experience. Budding pilots will thrill to this action-packed hour of aerial adventure, where you can take over the controls for 20 minutes of flying time. You’ll depart Whitsundays Airport, following your training session, and skirt high above the spectacular views of the Whitsundays and Airlie Beach.
Another scenic flight experience with inveterate thrills and spills is the Aerobatic Flight Experience (Insane 30-minute Flight), Airlie Beach, Whitsundays package. Aerial combat fighters in the making will live the experience of flying a true Warbird aircraft with newly acquired skills for breathtaking manoeuvres 3500 feet above spectacular beach and island surrounds. Your pilot instructor will then guide you back to Airlie Beach via Hook Passage for the budding fighter pilot to perform as many combat manoeuvres over Airlie Beach as they see fit or have the energy reserves to sustain.
There is also a gentler aerobatic flight experience of 15 minutes’ flight time on offer at Adrenaline. Although ‘gentle’ is a misnomer for the thundering power of the 360Hp of this radial engine combat aircraft. You’ll depart Shute Harbour, skyrocketing to 2500 feet above sea level in less than 90 seconds. Once your pilot gives you the all clear, you’ll rock and roll in the sky in this classic Soviet trainer aircraft. You’ll feel the pressure on your chest as the pilot pulls upwards of 3Gs, with rolls, loops and aerial combat skills that will blow your mind.
The same spectacular scenery prevails in this package, but you can also choose a gentler option with a scenic flight path over South Molle, Daydream and North Molle islands. Applications of gentle or mental resistance depend entirely on the individual and their innate fighter pilot resolve.
Another unforgettable day trip that remains sky high and forever in memory is the Skydiving Airlie Beach – Upgradeable To Beach Landing – Tandem Skydive, 14,000 Feet experience. This half-day skydiving activity, with the option to land at Queens Beach (Bowen) or a park drop zone, includes a 20-minute scenic flight over Airlie Beach and the magical Whitsundays. You’ll plunge from your aircraft at 14,000 feet, which will be travelling at speeds of up to 200km per hour for an insane up to 60 seconds. Once your tandem instructor pulls the cord at around 4500 feet above sea level, you’ll both float like birds in tropical island paradise for up to five minutes before your feet touch the ground.
You’ll fancy a spin on the spectacular waterways, no doubt, and the Jet Boat Ride Airlie Beach is just the ticket for V8-powered excitement. Adrenaline offers the only jet boat experience at Airlie Beach with this 30-minute ride that is the most exhilarating way to see Pioneer Bay, with thrilling 180-degree, 360-degree spins, drifts and submarines to match. Departing the Abell Point Marina, Airlie Beach, on board the eye-catching “Cheeky Bee”, you’ll buzz past all the natural marine life, including turtles and dugongs, and all other scenic wonders. This rip-roaring package includes free transfers from your Airlie Beach accommodation; free digital photos and fun-filled on board commentary.
Keen anglers can also experience a tropical half-day tour to write home about. The Fishing Charter, Half Day With Transfers – Airlie Beach package includes the chance to snare Spanish mackerel, coral trout, tuna, red emperor, sweet lip and other local species. Your catch of the day will be caught with premium fishing equipment, cleaned, bagged and ready for you and your mates to toss on the barbecue.
You can book all of these unforgettable events online at Adrenaline. Gift givers could also order an Adrenaline gift voucher to redeem Airlie Beach packages and the 2500-plus thrilling experiences offered Australia wide on land, water and in the air. Gift vouchers are valid for three years, can be emailed to the recipient or designed to arrive in VIP style: within a trademark brushed metal gift box.
Can you swim in the sea at Airlie Beach?
Swimming is not only possible, but it’s an essential activity at Airlie Beach. The Airlie Beach Lagoon provides a range of facilities, including a sheltered children’s wading pool, 1.5-metre-deep children’s swimming pool, a larger pool with a maximum depth of two metres, and there are separate swimming lanes for fitness training.
Lifeguards, first-aid training, 24-hour security and sensor operated walking paths all add to the family-friendly atmosphere of this popular Airlie Beach waterside attraction.
Visitors to Airlie Beach can also choose to swim at a number of nearby baths, including the Bowen Water Park Playground at the Bowen Foreshore, the 50-metre Bowen Swimming Pool, with its heated outdoor toddler’s pool, with shade-cover, and also enjoy a range of scheduled fitness activities.
There is also the Olympic-size heated outdoor swimming pool, with shade-cover, at the Proserpine Swimming Pool and the Proserpine Water Park, featuring a zero-depth play area that is suitable for all ages.
When is the best time to go to Whitsundays?
Given the general high temperatures and humidity, an optimum month to visit the Whitsundays is September, for its balmier conditions. The maximum temperatures average 26 degrees in September and humidity is comfortably low. But apart from the peak stinger season, between October and May, virtually any time presents its unique warm-weather charms and spectacular island and coastal scenery and attractions.